War on Drugs: End in Sight?

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Selena Toji: Drug law enforcement should not be predicated on where a person resides. If the U.S. is beginning a process of divestment from the War on Drugs, we must do so consistently and with a critical eye to how policies are implemented locally.

California’s Sentencing Quagmire: Is a Commission the Solution?

Statewide Sentencing commission

Kate McCraken: It is time for California’s justice system to progress into a 21st century approach that is fair, equitable, and efficient.

Between Treason and Privacy

Treason and Privacy

Steve Hochstadt: Has he weakened America? Is our society weaker now that we know more about what our government has been doing for years, still is doing, and wants to keep doing?

Militarizing America’s Police Forces

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Jim Hightower: The most explosive gas in this case is coming from police officials who have tagged their own peaceful citizens as “terrorists.” And the real threat to our security is DHS, which keeps shoveling our tax dollars into the militarization of police forces all across the country.

Why the Gigantic, Decades-Long Drop in Black Youth Crime Threatens Major Interests

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Mike Males: Black Youth Crime rates have plummeted in the last 20 yrs, a distressing development for powerful interests. You won’t find that in any major-media report.

A Former Prisoner’s View: “Orange Is the New Black”

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Bruce Reilly: It is time to get past the controversy over who created the show and use it for advancing discussion on mass incarceration in ways that only mass media can accomplish.

Where Will Holder’s Reforms Have Biggest Impact?

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David Love: Holder believes that federal prosecutors should not charge every defendant who is accused of breaking federal law, as states and localities are better positioned to handle certain issues.

Why So Many Dominican Baseball Players Suspended?

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Dave Zirin: Any serious discussion about performance enhancing drugs and baseball needs to deal with the fact of who is getting caught.

Scalia’s Gift to Jerry Brown

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Joe Mathews: If Brown is criticized over the prisons and the possible human consequences of releases, all he’ll have to do is quote Scalia.

A Well Regulated Militia

america and guns

Jerry Drucker: In spite of what the NRA, the Tea Party or today’s Republican’s might say, the Founders never had the thought of overthrowing the United States government, nor the use of guns to protect us from ourselves.

Run Snowden, Run!

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Jonathan Simon: In the age of Bush and Obama, American punishments reflect a level of viciousness and degradation that no principled person should be willing to accept for themselves or others.

Why Ray Kelly Should Not Run Homeland Security

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David Love: President Obama thinks Raymond Kelly would make a great choice to replace Janet Napolitano as the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, but given Kelly’s record on race, African-Americans should be wary.

Manning Verdict Risks Freedom of the Press If People Do Not Act

bradley manning statue

Kevin Zeese: For a whistleblower who exposed war crimes and unethical behavior in U.S. foreign policy to be facing a lengthy prison term, while the people exposed by government documents are not even investigated, shows how confused the United States has become.

The Moral Verdict on Bradley Manning: A Conviction of Love in Action

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Norman Solomon: On the surface, many differences protrude between those nine draft-files-burning radical Catholics and Bradley Manning. But I wonder. Ten souls saw cruelties of war and could no longer just watch.

“Stand Your Ground” in Daycare?

child with gun

David Love: With the ink on the George Zimmerman ‘not guilty’ verdict barely dry, another state appears ready to consider a Florida-style “Stand Your Ground” law.

Who Watches Neighborhood Watch in Gated Communities?

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Michael Haas: A larger implication of the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman case is that anyone can become a vigilante, commit an unwitnessed crime with impunity, and never have to defend such actions personally in court.

Justice for Marissa Alexander

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Tom Degan: George Zimmerman is a free man. Marissa Alexander languishes in a prison cell. Do they even have air-conditioning in those jury rooms? You gotta wonder.

The Color-Line in American Criminal Justice

michelle alexander

Brian Goldstein: In California, there are a number of state criminal justice bills that require support when the legislature returns from recess in early August.

Facing Reality: Race Matters

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Hector Villagra: We must confront race, admit racism still exists and discuss how it plays out in our society – without being accused of playing the race card or engaging in racial demagoguery.

What If Zimmerman Were Black?

zimmerman not guilty

David Love: Some people are asking, what if the roles were reversed? What if Zimmerman was the shooting victim? Better yet, what if George Zimmerman had been a black man accused of shooting a white teen to death?

From Outrage to Action: Organizing Out of Black Trauma

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Jamala Rogers: What was different is that Zimmerman quickly rose to be the darling of the right-wing, gun-toters. It was a battle between progressive and reactionary forces and we were out-organized. This doesn’t have to be the end of the story.

Solitary Confinement from Pelican Bay to Guantanamo Bay

Solitary Confinement Recreation Yard

Danny Murillo: From Pelican Bay to Guantanamo Bay, solitary confinement is the same.

Why Do Unsentenced Defendants Overflow California Jails?

jail overcrowding

Kate McCracken: In an era of Realignment where we continue to confine individuals who do not pose a threat to public safety solely based on their financial ability to post bail, we need to urge local practitioners to seek out these available resources.

National Bar Association Demands Justice for Trayvon

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The National Bar Association demands justice for Trayvon Martin says Zimmerman verdict highlights continued injustices in American legal system

Zimmerman Verdict Does Not Alter Truth

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Tom Hall: I know that George is legally innocent.  I also know that he stalked an unarmed boy who was carrying junk food in a bag, and that he shot that boy before the boy could even drop the bag.  I know that the vote of six white women in Florida will never alter that truth.

Zimmerman Goes Free: Thoughts on Saturday’s Verdict

zimmerman goes free

Mark Naison: There was no mutual understanding on that fateful night in Florida. If George Zimmerman had been more respectful, and more tolerant, and more secure, Trayvon Martin would have survived that encounter and lived a productive life.

From State Prison to LA County: Ready or Not

cdc hunger strike

Diane Lefer: There are angels among us. They understand that men and women who’ve been granted a second chance need something more: They need to be welcomed home.

Who Got Hurt by the NSA Spy Scandal? California

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Joe Mathews: We need laws, perhaps even a state constitutional amendment, to make plain that California considers the personal data and communications of all people, be they American or foreign, to be private and worthy of protection.

Solitary Confinement and American Acceptionalism

solitary protest

Tina Dupuy: If the Constitution is good enough justification to protect nutty Uncle Ernie’s arsenal and Glenn Beck subscription, then it should suffice for halting long-term solitary confinement of both enemy combatants and U.S. citizens.

Hunger Strikes, Force Feeds, and Solitary Dreams

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Bruce Reilly: While the California prisoners enter their fourth day of hunger strikes, the people of Guantanamo enter their 40th. Meanwhile, Herman Wallace has spent over forty years in solitary confinement in Louisiana.

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